This team is now deprecated. Official announcement about the team's closure can be found here.

General Conduct

In general, your conduct around the community is expected to at least adhere to the Ubuntu Code of Conduct. No matter where you are, some additional points are good to keep in mind:

  • Assume that everything is public. Many conversations that take place in the Ubuntu community are logged. These logs are generally available to anyone, and stay up forever. This means that other community members, your boss, or even your parents might read what you say. Be sure not to say anything that you would be afraid for any of these people to read.
  • Please do not try and force other users to reveal personal information about themself. It is ok to ask once, but if they say, "No", do not push the issue.
  • The people you are dealing with (and the people who will read your postings) are human beings whose culture, language, and humour may have different points of reference from your own. Remember that date formats, measurements, and idioms may not travel well. Be especially careful with sarcasm.
  • The people you are dealing with are spread around the world. They also may be interrupted by real life events. Thus, they may not be at their computer, or may be sleeping, when you send a message to them. People accustomed to paying for support may not be familiar with this, and may need to have it politely explained to them.
  • Do not use all capital letters. This is interpreted as shouting and is generally rude. Instead, use an asterisk to emphasize words (for example: *That* was unexpected). In some IRC clients, text between asterisks is displayed as bold.
  • An emoticon (smiley) may be used to indicate a tone of voice, but they should be used sparingly. An emoticon may not lessen the blow of what is interpreted by recipients as an insult.
  • To help avoid misunderstandings, be liberal in what you receive and conservative in what you send.
  • It is typically a good idea to spend at least a month in any IRC channel and on any forum or mailing list before posting frequently. This allows you to learn what is acceptable and not acceptable in each place.
  • Do not send heated messages (known as flames). Do not be surprised if you receive one, however, and do not reply to them.
  • If a basic question is asked, do not make any assumptions about whether or not the user has tried searching for an answer. Politely ask if they have had any luck searching some of the various areas (Google, appropriate Internet forums, documentation) and provide hints on possible search terms. If possible, include a brief solution to the problem.
    • If the person asking for help indicates they have already tried searching but you can find the solution easily, be sure to tell the person the search terms you used, where you searched, and also give them a more complete solution to their problem.
  • Many teams frown upon the use of certain acronyms. Some of these include: RTFM, STFU, GTFO, JFGI, and n00b/noob/newb. If you are not sure whether or not an acronym is allowed, do not use it.

Depending on where you are, other considerations may need to be taken into account. IRC, Internet forums (such as the Ubuntu Forums), and mailing lists all have their own unique communication methods, meaning they all have different rules of netiquette.


Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a popular method for bringing a large number of people together into areas (called channels) related to a specific topic. When you join, most channels will broadcast their topic to your IRC client. Messages which are off-topic may get you kicked (temporarily removed) or banned (semi-permanently or permanently removed) from that channel. In addition, IRC behaviour should be governed by these additional netiquette points:

  • If you don't receive an answer to your question, wait at least one hour before asking again. In busier channels (like #ubuntu) it may be acceptable to wait for a shorter amount of time.
  • Every channel has one or more channel operators (chanops, or simply ops). If there is a problem in the channel and it cannot be resolved politely, ask an operator to step in. A list of operators can usually be seen by entering: /msg ChanServ ACCESS #CHANNEL LIST

  • Proper spelling and grammar is always appreciated. If your native language is not the language being spoken in the channel, do your best. Depending on the channel, proper capitalization and punctuation may also be expected, and abbreviated words (lol, txt, 4evar, ur, etc.) may not be acceptable.
  • An IRC channel can be a very busy place. Just visit #ubuntu to see a busy channel. If you are speaking to a particular person, prefix your message with their name. Do not start by asking a specific person your question unless they have given permission for you to do so.

Mailing Lists and Internet Forums

A mailing list is very similar to an Internet forum. Thus, most of what applies to one applies equally to the other.

  • Even more than IRC, off-topic messages will get you into trouble. Keep your postings relevant to the topic of discussion, and keep new postings relevant to the list or forum topic.
  • Do not post chain letters, notices of services closing, or messages with commercial and/or advertising content. Ever.
  • Do not change the wording on messages you forward or reply to. However, do trim out everything that isn't relevant to your response. If you are replying to multiple parts of a posting, separate them and reply to each part. Try to avoid having one large quote with a large, multi-topic reply.
  • Some mailing lists and Internet forums can be very busy. If you have not received an answer to your posting, wait at least 24 hours before sending a follow-up (preferred) or new (acceptable, but not preferred) posting.
  • Read all messages in a conversation (thread) before replying. Multiple replies saying the same thing are not helpful. "Me too" messages even less so.
  • For mailing lists, if your mail client does not automatically wrap lines, do so yourself. The maximum line length is generally agreed to be anywhere from 65 to 72 characters per line. Internet forums typically handle this automatically, and so do most mail clients, but there are still some mail clients that do not properly wrap lines.
  • Always include a descriptive subject.
  • A vacation message or read receipt request should never be sent to a mailing list, or to an address that will create a forum post. Ever.
  • Try to avoid sending the same message to multiple forums or mailing lists. This is called cross-posting. If it is necessary, even if it is for the benefit of everyone involved, apologize for the cross-post.


BeginnersTeam/FocusGroups/YNU/Conduct (last edited 2009-07-15 03:01:33 by 99-21-107-94)